Gov. Haslam signs simpler workers comp. legislation - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gov. Haslam signs simpler workers comp. legislation

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Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill reforming workers' compensation Tuesday.

House Bill 194 simplifies the system while allowing employees to receive benefits faster and return to work sooner.

Tennessee workers' compensation premium rates are higher than the national average and higher than all bordering states. The state is one of only two that settled workers' compensation claims in the trial courts, often delaying benefits to employees.

The new legislation provides benefits quicker, improves quality of treatment, provides a clearer standard for causation and a neutral application of the law, allows employees to file claims in a court within the Division of Workers' Compensation rather than trial court, and creates a new program to help unrepresented employees and employers receive the assistance they need.

"As I traveled the state during my first two years in office, I heard consistently from Tennesseans that reforming workers' compensation would be a significant step toward improving our business climate and growing jobs," Haslam said. "Our legislation brings clarity and fairness to the system and builds on our ongoing efforts to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."

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